Blue Coat develops solution to address advanced cyber threats

Blue Coat Systems, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of network security solutions, recently unveiled its new Advanced Threat Protection solution and Content Analysis System to help businesses protect against the myriad of malware being developed by cyber criminals today.

According to Sasi Murthy, senior director of product marketing for Blue Coat, the company repositioned itself this year and brought a new perspective to the market focused around enabling businesses rather than just blocking things deemed unsafe.

“We framed that around the construct of business assurance technologies. Fundamentally, what we’re trying to convey and show with our solution is the ability to allow businesses to make investments in new technologies in a way that sensibly balances risk and in a way that lets the security professionals that we work with actually start to participate more in C-level and board meeting discussions regarding how new initiatives with new technologies can drive profitability, revenue and customer attainment in a way that not only protects the company, but also protects the people you’re trying to reach,” Murthy explained.    

Because organizations are now frequently using mobile devices and applications to engage users and potential customers, Murthy said that it opens the door for more cybercrime opportunities. Murthy said that Blue Coat, whose products are deployed in close to 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies, has found that while organizations are aware of the “advanced threat dynamic,” the time in which it takes to find and neutralize an attack can range from weeks to years.  

“That gap becomes very problematic,” she said. “There’s a set of things available in the market and that enterprises are doing preventively, but the truth is organizations are now looking for a way to identify what’s on the network rapidly and contain and remediate as well. From a Blue Coat perspective, we’ve really framed what companies need – the solutions against advanced threats – as really a three-stage system that companies need to think about. Stage one, of course, is around prevention and really having all of the capabilities that you need to block known threats. Proactively detecting unknown threats and already present malware becomes stage two… and the very quickly, almost in real-time, you get to the notion of  where else is this on my network, so I can start to move into stage three and fully remediate the impact of what’s happened.”

With these stages of preventing, detecting and eliminating threats in mind, Murthy said that Blue Coat acquired Solera Networks earlier this year to give them the in-depth analysis that was needed to be able to offer a comprehensive solution to their customers, which is what the Advanced Threat Protection solution provides.

“The two new pieces from us is part of this lifecycle defense,” said Murthy. “It’s the introduction of a gateway content analysis system solution, which allows you to do a couple of things at the gateway. You can, first of all, whitelist known good content, so you’re starting to very quickly isolate content that needs to be analyzed for known malicious signatures. You’re quickly doing that anti-malware scanning and now you’ve further isolated traffic down to what is unknown. That unknown traffic that is funneled down is then handed off to our second new product which is our malware analysis appliance that can immediately then sandbox this content, do it in an environment that simulates the customer’s production environment, and identify if it’s known malicious or known good.”

Murthy said that one of the key challenges that Blue Coat has solved with these solutions is the speed with which these threats can be identified and analyzed. These new solutions can also be attached to existing IT security tools that organizations may already have in place. 

“We are the only vendor that combines these three stages into a full retrospective. In this advanced threat landscape, the ability to have an integrated (solution)… becomes very material to detecting some of these kinds of threats,” Murthy concluded.